"like that"

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Mon Jan 15 17:31:48 UTC 2001

At 08:57 AM 1/15/01 -0800, you wrote:
>On Sun, 14 Jan 2001, Beverly Flanigan wrote:
> > It isn't the same at all.  It's simply a double complementizer, like "as
> > if" and "so that."  It's regionally restricted, as far as I know, to the
> > central South (Tennessee and southward, maybe in Texas also--I've hear GW
> > Bush use it)
>Well, it's rampant up here in the Northwest, even among them what one
>would think don't, like, do it.

But isn't this just the pause marker "like"? (or focuser 'like' or
intrusive 'like', to use variant terms for this syntactic
interrupter).   In contrast, "like that" is a real conjunction, introducing
an embedded (subordinate) clause.  "Like" has many functions: focuser,
quotative ("And he's like 'I don't want to go'"), preposition, and
conjunction--but in the last case, it's generally used alone; the double
'like that' as conj. is Southern, if I'm not mistaken.

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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